Saturday, 29 September 2007

Mashed ghoughbteighpteau anyone?

There I was, sitting in the passenger seat with my head buried in today's Guardian Review section, as water lapped menacingly all around and I tried to avoid the 'who do they think they are?' looks of drivers of more - ahem - environmentally friendly vehicles (see previous post). (Look, it wasn't MY idea, OK? - I was the one who remonstrated quite loudly and persistently in the interests of common sense, but what could I do (other than roll up my jeans and jump into the sea in protest, which I decided against)?) So, anyway, I hid behind the paper, hoping no-one would recognise me, and read Simon Callow's review of Julie Kavanagh's Rudolf Nureyev: The Life ; a moving piece by Blake Morrison on the strange experience of watching his book And When Did You Last See Your Father? made into a film:

'Chastened to realise that the material of my childhood and adolescence has now become someone else's property. I don't own the intellectual and artistic rights any more. My life's not my own, it's someone else's . . . I've entered a world where truth and fiction have begun to blend.'

and coincidentally, following the reminder on Julian Roskams's blog of George Bernard Shaw's comment that English spelling would allow one to write FISH as GHOTI (f as in rough, i as in women, sh as in nation), today's Commentary piece is an article by Harry Bingham on 'why English rules the world of languages', in which he observes:

'[Shaw] couldn't have been trying all that hard, if that was the best he came up with. How about POTATO as in GHOUGHBTEIGHPTEAU? That's p as in hiccough, o as in though, t as in debt, a as in neighbour, t as in ptomaine, o as in bureau.'

How about it indeed?

No comments: